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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 10

Heidelberg Catechism – Lords’ Day 10

Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?
A. The almighty and ever-present power of God whereby he still upholds, as it were by his own hand, heaven and earth together with all creatures, and rules in such a way that leaves and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and unfruitful years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, and everything else, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.

Q. What advantage comes from acknowledging God’s creation and providence?
A. We learn that we are to be patient in adversity, grateful in the midst of blessing, and to trust our faithful God and Father for the future, assured that no creature shall separate us from his love, since all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot even move.

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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 9

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 9

Q. What do you believe when you say: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth with all that is in them, who also upholds and governs them by his eternal counsel and providence, is for the sake of Christ his Son my God and my Father. I trust in him so completely that I have no doubt that he will provide for me with all things necessary for body and soul. Moreover, whatever evil he sends upon me in this troubled life he will turn to my own good, for he is able to do it, being almighty God, and is determined to do it, being a faithful Father.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 9

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 9

Chapter 5 – Of Providence cont. (Paragraphs 5-7)
V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, does often times leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous judge, for former sins, does blind and harden; from them he not only withholds his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings,and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had; and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan; whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God uses for the softening of others.
VII. As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures, so, after a most special manner, it takes care of his Church, and disposes all things to the good thereof.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 8

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 8

Chapter 5 – Of Providence (Paragraphs 1-4)
I. God, the great Creator of all things, does uphold, direct dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
II. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly, yet, by the same providence, he orders them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
III. God, in his ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extends itself even to the first Fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God; who being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 6

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 6

Chapter 3 – Of God’s Eternal Decree
Cont. (Paragraphs 5 – 8)
V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto life, God, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will, hath chosen in Christ, unto everlasting glory, out of his free grace and love alone, without any foresight of faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature, as conditions, or causes moving him thereunto; and all to the praise of his glorious grace.
VI. As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath he, by the eternal and most free purpose of his will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore they who are elected being fallen in Adam are redeemed by Christ, are effectually called unto faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by his power through faith unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.
VII. The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of his own will, whereby he extends or withholds mercy as he pleases, for the glory of his sovereign power over his creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice.
VIII. The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men attending to the will of God revealed in his Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the gospel.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 5

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 5

Chapter 3 – Of God’s Eternal Decree (Paragraphs 1 – 4)
I. God from all eternity did by the most and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
II. Although God knows whatsoever may or can come to pass, upon all supposed conditions; yet has he not decreed any thing because he foresaw it as future, as that which would come to pass, upon such conditions.
III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.
IV. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it can not be either increased or diminished.

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When God Gives You Way More Than You Can Handle (via Philip Ryken)

Philip Ryken takes issue with the oft heard Christian advice ‘God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.’

We Can’t Handle All of Life’s Trouble . . .
We will never be ready for all of the troubles that we face in life and I have to say that I disagree with the common slogan that you sometimes see on posters that goes something like this: “I know God’s not going to give me anything more than I can handle.” Actually, my experience is that a lot of times God gives me way more than I can handle—and I think that’s normal.
. . . but God Can.
One of the reasons that he gives us more than we can handle is because his grace proves sufficient in our weakness. So in one sense, we can never prepare for all of the troubles that we are going to face. But what does prepare us is healthy, normal, ordinary, daily Christian living: Spending time in God’s word everyday, being with the people of God for worship at least every week, turning to God in prayer daily in every circumstance that we face, and just being honest about the troubles that we’re having—honest with ourselves, honest with God, honest with other Christians about those troubles. We will grow in our capacity to face the struggles of life as we live healthy, ordinary, daily Christian life.